By Kaye Lopez
Less-than-ideal weather also played a part in how the race unfolded for the sprint distance competitors
With distances of only a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, and 5-kilometer run, the sprint categories at the second-leg of the prestigious Tri United series for 2015 are the default races, which eager newbies or returning triathletes registered for. A quick glance at the list of participants showed a few familiar faces peppering the field of many who were drawn to the flat profile of the bike course and the loop format of the run. When newbies consider their first forays into competitive triathlon, less hills bring more appeal and multiple loops mean there are more chances for the family to catch them each time past. If steep hills and long climbs are daunting out on the course, building the foundation for family members to look forward to big events and accompany their loved one is even more of a challenge to overcome.
BRINGING THE FAMILY WHERE?
Bringing the triathlon community to the Landco development at Playa Laiya in San Juan, Batangas each year is a masterstroke for the Bike King group of organizers. Not only are the amenities at the resort tailor-made for families that are exposed to the level of quality that a classy establishment can give, but the grounds are ideal to hosting an equally premium multisport event. There is ample parking for the family car and there is a separate area on the opposite side of the parking lots for dad/mom/kuya/ate/friend of the family to park their tri-bike at transition; there is an infinity pool for bunso while dad practices his open water sighting; there are clean toilets and comfort room facilities, flanked by the Expo alley that is equally well-stocked with the latest and greatest gear. And, for one weekend each July, the GPS is spared from the usual route north to races in Clark or Subic.
Those minor details add up when you take into account that a newbie must make the trip away for the weekend as inviting to the family members as the adrenalin rush during the countdown to the swim start. The more excited the family is, and the less hassled they are about that next race, the longer the career of the budding triathlete. It is a simple formula for staying competitive in this challenging sport, but it isn’t always included in the pages of your training manual or the strategies it takes to win first place – but it is essential to becoming a winner in the eyes of those who should always be more important than this sport.
BEING FAMILIAR WITH?
The weather conditions last July 5 were no less rainy and no less difficult for the sprint (SP) distance competitors, but the swim cancellation was cheered by more participants from the SP categories, for sure. The standard distance athletes are more hardcore in their commitment and understanding of the sport, and only a few were fazed by the height of the waves or the gusts of wind when they woke up to howling westerly winds on the morning of the race, but the fear in the eyes of the newbies and their nervous laughter when the veterans would ask them how they were, was palpable on the beach head. Nothing wrong with that, and respect for the power of Mother Nature is always better than callous disregard for safety when it comes to outdoor athletic endeavors. Besides, how much fun would it have been for you or your family if everyone made the trip to Laiya, but you decided to DNS because you weren’t prepared to take on three-foot tall waves?
Even if the much-anticipated triathlon was abbreviated to a bike and a run, you would never have guessed – judging from the game faces of the competitors and the mere seconds that separated the podium spots – that it was any less difficult to overcome or any less important to target that personal best for everyone who raced that day.
Coach Kaye Lopez is a Makati-based multisport coach, who collectively refers to her group of athletes as FIT+ Academy. She is an ITU Level 1 certified coach and former member of triathlon, cycling, and duathlon national teams, and has more than 15 years of knowledge and experience in multisport.She is also the editor-at-large of Multisport magazine and online editor of MultiSport.ph. When she’s not coaching, she’s out doing her own swim, bike, and run training, or practicing yoga. Check out her website at www.fitplusacademy.com.